Perhaps you are a kinder person than I, but I often have moments where I just can’t help thinking, “Any idiot can fill in the blank.” Most recently this led to fit of pique after watching a clip from a reality game show in which a woman was trying to win her car back from repossession if she could answer three out of five questions correctly. She was standing in her front yard with a toddler in a playpen while she tried unsuccessfully to recall which founding father discovered electricity by flying a kite in a storm, which might have been the most difficult question she was asked. After deciding against Uncle Sam, she settled on Bill Clinton as her final answer. The only thing more painful to watch was her listing of countries (Dallas) and nixing states (France, Canada…) in an effort to divine the word “Tapan” instead of Japan as the country in which kimonos are a traditional garment. The clip is pretty funny, but it is devastatingly sad to me that someone could think Uncle Sam was not only a real person but also a founding father. I get the same feeling watching “Jaywalking” clips on Leno.
In that moment, I was thinking, “Look, she has a child that she is responsible for raising and educating. Any idiot can have a baby, so what’s wrong with me?” And that “what’s wrong with me” has both physical and spiritual connotations, questioning both my body and the wisdom of God’s plan. Of course, in asking the question of God, especially with an “any idiot” introduction, I realize that I am being judgmental and certainly not loving my neighbor as myself, thereby making a moot point of my complaint to God. 🙂
I know I would not be a perfect mother, but it is terribly frustrating to watch someone like this ignorant woman and not compare myself to her. I know better, but I can’t stop the fleeting feeling that there must be something wrong with me; I can’t stop feeling that the gift of motherhood can be earned if I just get my crap together. Seeing this clip makes me feel like I must be a horrible person if God can’t entrust me with a tiny person to mold, yet this woman who can’t remember first grade history or geography is worthy. It is not a worthiness issue, and I know it – I just have a hard time accepting that in my weaker moments. I know there is a reason for this season in my life, although I don’t understand it, and I want to wholeheartedly proclaim with Job that I will accept both good and bad from God’s hand as equally valuable gifts. I have learned that I am stronger than I knew I could be, and I have new depths of empathy and compassion that have come from just surviving so far. Now if I can just ignore the idiots and accept them as great entertainment…
Here’s the link to the clip, in case you want to watch it. I’m not sure I inserted it correctly, so you may have to copy and paste it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rq3-PycEXHk